Things You Do and Don’t Want to Do on Probation

Lerner & Rowe Law Group

When you are accused of a crime in Arizona, the court may impose probation in lieu of jail time. This alternative punishment has specific court-ordered rules you must follow. These are the conditions of your probation, which are specific to each criminal case. Therefore, not abiding by these conditions constitutes a probation violation, which could land you in jail. To avoid any dire consequences, enlist the help of a criminal defense Arizona attorney.

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Different Types of Probation

In Arizona, there are three types of probation and different probation periods based on your offense. You may receive unsupervised probation in which you do not have to report to a probation officer and merely must stay out of trouble until your probation period ends. Alternately, you may receive supervised probation, which means you must report to a probation officer for regularly scheduled meetings and abide by other conditions enforced by your probation officer. During these meetings, your probation officer may require you to take drug, alcohol, and/or other tests to prove that you are complying with the conditions of your probation. Lastly, the final type of probation is intensive probation, which is extremely strict and involves and almost-extreme amount of supervision.

Your probation length varies based on whether your crime was a misdemeanor or felony and what class of felony. However, the courts can terminate your probation sooner. Some crimes, especially those against children or violent in nature, will disqualify you from being eligible for probation instead of a jail sentence. For this reason, it’s important to have an experienced criminal attorney on your side who can try to negotiate a resolution that’s probation eligible.

Do’s and Don’t List

While you may have good intentions, it is common to fail to abide by the terms of your probation. To prevent a probation violation and potential penalty, our criminal lawyers want to make sure you understand what you should and should not do while on probation.

You should:

  • Pay all court-imposed fees, fines, and victim restitution on time.
  • Appear in court for all scheduled court appearances.
  • Check in with your probation officer for every scheduled meeting.
  • Complete court-required counseling.
  • Complete all required community service in the given time.
  • Abide by curfews set forth by the judge.
  • Comply with all court orders.
  • Lastly, report any interaction you have with law enforcement.

You should NOT:

  • Use, possess, or sell any illegal substances.
  • Drink alcoholic beverages, if specified in your probation.
  • Miss any drug/alcohol tests or test positive for any of these tests.
  • Fail to appear in court
  • Change your residence, travel out of state, or leave the country without written permission from your probation officer.
  • Visit any prohibited places or people without your probation officer’s permission.
  • Remove security monitoring devices.
  • Possess firearms.
  • Commit any new crimes.

Probation Violation Criminal Defense Arizona

There can be serious consequences to violating your probation. In some instances, the court could simply add conditions to your probation. However, the court has the ability to revoke your probation, issue a bench warrant for a missed court date, and immediately sentence you to jail/prison to serve out a portion of your original sentence. The action taken depends, in part, on the discretion of your probation officer, the severity of your violation, and whether it is your first or subsequent violation. Therefore, to mitigate the possibility of revocation, it is in your best interest to you consult with a skilled criminal lawyer to help argue against revocation of your probation.

Should your probation officer file a “Petition to Revoke Probation,” he may issue an immediate warrant for your arrest. If arrested, the courts may hold you without bond until the finalization of your probation violation proceedings. If the court determines a violation truly took place, you face one of three possible outcomes: continuance, modification, or revocation of your probation. Revocation is the most severe outcome.

Hire a Top Criminal Defense Arizona Attorney

If you have been charged with a probation violation, hire an experienced criminal defense Arizona attorney from Lerner & Rowe Law Group. We offer free consultations and affordable payments plans. Our office is open from 8 AM to 5 PM. But, we are available 24/7 to take your call at 602-667-7777.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.